When I saw the first national news story about @HiddenCash, I thought it was a radio stunt. Seriously.

We used to do fun stuff like this, remember?

In fact, I’m surprised there aren’t laws against posting clues online to where someone has hidden cash. I’m pretty sure Radio had to curtail scavenger hunts and the like decades ago because thousands of people would suddenly descend on public spots and create havoc.

From the hysteria I’ve seen on TV, Twitter may have to have a similar rule.

Before it does, though, today’s younger programmers, who never knew about giant, fun promotions like Hidden Cash, can learn a lesson.

It’s not always the amount of money you give away, especially now, when Powerball jackpots are hundreds of millions of dollars.

It’s about audience engagement and fun with a nice reward.

Not many radio contests today qualify under those criteria.

We’ve become afraid of the time it takes to have fun, which is kind of sad.

We’re so worried about that extra few seconds and the punishment we think PPM will deliver every time we stop playing music that we’ve lost sight of the fact that people like to solve puzzles. People like to prove they’re smarter than other people.

People like to have fun!

There are literally thousands of ideas if you’re up for the challenge:

  • What Am I Holding In My Hand
  • The Secret Song
  • What’s Inside The Box
  • The Secret Celebrity
  • Song Scramble

and on and on…I’m certain you can add lots of proven ideas to that list.

I think it’s time we put the fun back into our contests. Hidden Cash is proving that right now.